Rapidly expanding LWC Drinks has raised the comfort bar for its drivers by commissioning the first vehicles from an order for seven ground-hugging Mercedes-Benz Antos rigids.
The Manchester-based beverage wholesaler has already taken delivery of three 26-tonners with lowered frames, low-profile tyres and all-round air suspension. The result is a reduced deck height which – with the suspension lowered – can be dropped up to 200 mm lower than a standard model. This makes life as easy as possible for drivers who deliver to pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants across the UK.
Supplied by Dealer Ciceley Commercials, the new trucks are all Antos 2530 Lnr models with ClassicSpace cabs finished in gleaming black. Their buckleless curtain ‘smoothsider’ bodies, meanwhile, are by PPS Commercials, of Bury, and printed with images of LWC products. Each is also fitted with a 1,500 kg capacity DEL column tail lift.
A fourth, identical vehicle, along with three similarly equipped Antos 1824 Lnr 18-tonners, are due to enter service before the end of November.
The LWC fleet now extends to more than 100 trucks, ranging from 7.5 to 26 tonnes gvw.
National Operations Manager Stuart Tinnion explained: “Traditionally we’ve tended to run vehicles at the lower end of the weight range, but that approach is changing now.
“We’re making more deliveries and handling larger consignments than ever before, so we need trucks that offer bigger payloads. At the same time, though, we need to retain a low working height to make life easier – and safer – for our drivers.
“These Antos are ideally suited to the drinks industry and perfect for our operation. As well as their low height they have steering rear axles which means they’re highly manoeuvrable, a big advantage given the tight access at many of the city centre locations on our delivery lists.
“They also look really smart, so double as a great mobile advertisement for our business and high operating standards.”
Established in 1979, LWC was recently described by The Sunday Times as “the fastest-growing privately-owned drinks company in Britain”. It boasts a roster of 6,000 customers and offers more than 7,000 product lines.
In addition to its head office, LWC operates 13 depots nationally, from Cornwall in the South-West to Teesside in the North-East, all of which provide a seven-days-a-week service – orders placed before noon are delivered on the same day. The company also owns and runs a string of 50 pubs.
Purpose-designed for heavy duty distribution work, the Mercedes-Benz Antos combines exceptional comfort with precise handling. LWC’s new trucks are powered by advanced, fuel-efficient 220 kW (300 hp) six-cylinder engines that drive through smooth eight-speed Mercedes PowerShift automated transmissions.
Mr Tinnion continued: “Our new Antos have replaced three vehicles by another manufacturer. We shopped around and asked several suppliers for their proposals before placing our order. The response from Ciceley’s Fleet Sales Manager Guy Beech was quick and comprehensive, and the price was highly competitive.
“I know from long experience both with LWC and in previous roles within this industry, that the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star is an assurance of quality. Ciceley Commercials also supplied us with five Actros tractor units which we run from our hub depot in Manchester, and which have proved superbly reliable.
“The Dealer’s back-up is first-class too. We’re confident our new trucks will play a significant part in our plans for further expansion.”